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On the 3rd Day of the #OpenAfrica15 workshop, there was a community building workshop. Here are the results of the process:

Exercise 1: Personal Reflection[edit]

1.What were your personal motivations for editing Wikipedia? What attracted you to contributing?

  • thirst for expertise
  • want to correct an obvious mistake
  • intellectual arrogance
  • attended a training
  • power of contribution
  • seeing your work on a public platform
  • learning new things
  • want to mentor others to share knowledge
  • introduced by workshop = peer pressure
  • improvement of content on person’s country
  • to build on existing skills
  • extending already sharing knowledge via teaching and journalism
  • frustration of information silos
  • share the ideals of the Wikipedia movement
  • being published online
  • overcome personal barriers
  • discipline
  • something fresh

2.What were the biggest barriers to you contributing?

  • the device being used (mobile) does not work well on Wikipedia interface
  • lack of knowledge and intimidation of Code
  • random and intermittent electricity
  • didn’t know anyone from Cameroon who edited
  • didn’t know it was possible for someone in Africa to edit
  • have job so have very little time
  • internet access - expensive and unreliable
  • time
  • lack of knowledge of rules and systems
  • threat of deletionist policy on english wikipedia
  • no personal commitment
  • valuable to self
  • confidence to contribute
  • rely on friends for technology to edit
  • self-esteem
  • perceived as an elitist or separate activity

3.What happened that helped you overcome the obstacles?

  • demystified it
  • welcome from the community
  • time management - set personal goals (e.g. 1 article/ month; 1 training every 2 months)
  • saving up for smart device / power pack
  • uses 3-4 ISP providers
  • self-challenge
  • finding an easy way to contribute, i.e. upload media
  • sense of obligation
  • focus on getting tech
  • commitment to community
  • mentor
  • logisitical support
  • knowledge support
  • personally motivated/determination (wanted to overcome the challenges)
  • personal ideals

Exercise 2: Group Brainstorming[edit]

What are likely audiences that could become contributors

  • Students - secondary and tertiary
  • Academics - teachers, professors, lecturers
  • Associations and groups around specific subjects
  • Knowledge workers

1.What are likely to be the main motivations for those whom you are targeting to become Wikipedia contributors?

  • Curiosity
  • Sense of community
  • Commitment to community
  • Ownership of their story
  • Personal discovery
  • being part of a movement
  • Embarrassment
  • Show that they have a voice
  • Empowerment
  • Points
  • Skills development
  • Careers

2.What are likely to be the main barriers to participation for those potential contributors?

  • Local languages
  • Local language keyboards
  • Connectivity
  • Technology
  • Lack of research skills
  • Language skills
  • Expectation of payment
  • Do not understand the system
  • Difficulty establishing notability
  • navigating jargon / coding
  • increasing motivation to overcome barriers
  • time
  • misunderstanding of what Wikipedia is
  • financial imperative
  • opaque community - access to local, and how international community operates

Exercise 3: Group Problem-Solving[edit]

1. Overcome the barriers

  • suggestions to navigate tech and data options
  • logistical partners (tech hubs, libraries, cultural centres)
  • becomes part of the syllabus
  • incorporated into organisational processes
  • communications
  • Wikipedia education
  • tutorials/modules in local languages
  • toolkits in local languages
  • connect with local community on local language wikipedias
  • local languages brochures
  • Mentorships / mentor programme
  • community presence
  • collaboration with aligned open groups
  • making apparent the additional skills transfer
  • linking with subject partners

2. Motivate people to contribute

  • Establishing a community
  • Localising rewards and making them locally relevant
  • Mentoring new users
  • something to show for being involved / certificates, or similar
  • feedback on successful contribution / social media recognition
  • Creating belonging
  • Human/ offline contact and connection
  • Connection
  • Case studies
  • Making benefits obvious
  • Tangible rewards in lives outside Wikipedia
  • Involving local foundations